Series: Once Upon A Crime Family #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 19, 2015
Buy on Amazon
Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.
Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.
And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.
All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.
Hold Me Like a Breath is a completely fresh new story for the YA genre. Tiffany Scmidt has crafted a wonderfully captivating story that will hook readers from start to finish. And who wouldn’t love a princess and the pea retelling?
I’ve always been fascinated with stories relating to the mob so I had a feeling this would be a book for me. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of detail and involvement the mob aspect actually had to do with the story. While Penny is part of a crime family, they aren’t bad people. The purpose of the Landlow Family was to help people who the government couldn’t. They definitely did it for the money but they also wanted to help. It made it easy for me to sympathize with everything their family went through.
Penny was both one of my favorite and least favorite characters in the book. She was incredibly naive which bothered me. She lived a very sheltered life so I understand why she was like that but it seemed as if any lessons she’d had on surviving left her as soon as she was on her own. She was an amazingly strong person, having to deal with everything on her own, including her illness. However, she very quickly comes to trust a stranger when she is on the run for her life. There were a few moments where I wanted to smack some sense into her. Also, the illness aspect adds a whole other layer to Penny’s story. Being on the run is bad enough but there was also the constant danger of Penny’s illness incapacitating or even killing her.
The rest of the characters were quite a mix. Penny’s family and Family were very protective of her and so she didn’t know everything about them. Carter was an adorable older brother and while he was very mysterious, his love for Penny was always clear. It was the same with her parents. They handled her with kid gloves because they both loved her so much. Their family was very sweet. Then there was Garrett. I am still torn about him and you’ll understand why when you read the book. The whole bodyguard aspect definitely drew me to him but his sweetness also did. As for Char, he also greatly appealed to me. The romance between him and Penny was so fun.
The mystery could have been a bit more developed but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I could see what was coming from the start but it still threw me for a loop. I’m not sure where things will go with the sequel because things tied up pretty nicely at the end of this but I’m still eager for more.
Overall, Hold Me Like a Breath will greatly appeal to fans of contemporary thrillers and also Holly Black’s Curse Workers series. I can’t recommend it enough.
What others are saying about Hold Me Like a Breath:
Novel Novice’s review: “Billed as the first in the Once Upon a Crime Family series, Hold Me Like a Breath still reads like a standalone novel — which is really the best of both worlds.”
Fantastic Book Reviews’ review: “Hold Me Like a Breath had plenty of grit to go around.”
About the author:
Tiffany Schmidt is the author of Send Me a Sign, Bright Before Sunrise, and Hold Me Like a Breath. She’s found her happily ever after in Pennsylvania with her saintly husband, impish twin boys, and a pair of mischievous puggles.
These two quotes kinda perfectly describe Penny and both of the boys she has relationships with. I also love the contrast of the two.
“There wouldn’t be a clean break. I could no more sever him completely than I could untangle my DNA and remove whatever combination of nucleotides spelled out my skin’s tendency toward purple”
“He beamed. Beamed. No one had ever smiled at me like that. Like just by walking out the door I’d made his life better. It punched holes in my caution, made me feel off-balance.”